Edelmiro T. Garza, beloved husband, father and friend to many, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at Yakima Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends.
Ed, as he was known to his friends, was born Oct. 26, 1933 in Mercedes, Texas, the son of Juan and Lorenza Garza, migrant farm workers. At the age of 15, the family permanently moved from Texas to Sunnyside.
At the age of 19, he entered the U.S. Navy and served for two years. He was a veteran of the Korean War.
In 1955 Ed married Amelia Maganas, and they made their home in Grandview.
Ed devoted much of his life to his family, friends and community.
He began his years in Grandview working for the Grandview School District and Totem Sales in Sunnyside. Ed and Amelia started the first Spanish speaking radio program at KARY in Prosser during the mid-sixties and entertained the Valley with Mexican music for 10 years.
He enjoyed producing some of the first Spanish speaking television commercials in the Yakima Valley during the same period. He went on to serve as a manager at Northwest Rural Opportunity, a social service agency that assisted migrant farm workers through a variety of services.
In 1974 he began a 20-year career for Westinghouse Hanford as a heavy duty truck driver, retiring as a supervisor in 1994. Retirement was short, as a year later, he began a four-year position as a youth coordinator for the AmeriCorps Program, a job he enjoyed assisting young people.
Like his late wife Amelia, Ed loved politics and the political process. Inspired by John F., and Robert Kennedy, he believed in the power of one person to make a difference.
In 1969 he was appointed by Governor Dan Evans to serve on the State Mexican American Advisory Committee. He served as the Democratic 15th District Legislative Chair and held other positions locally and statewide in the Democratic party which included state committeeman and county and state delegate to several nominees for president and former presidents.
Ed was especially dedicated to his church and community. He served as president of the Blessed Sacrament Parish Council and also served on its Finance Committee. He served as president of the Grandview Vista Kiwanis Club and was recently awarded for 19 years of perfect attendance. And of course, he was a loyal supporter of the Grandview Greyhounds.
He is survived by his children, Ed (Sabrina) Garza Jr. and Ben (Teresa) Garza, all of Yakima, Rick (Liz) Garza and Lisa (Roel) van der Lugt, all of Olympia, Ron (Dottie) Garza of Maple Valley and John Garza of Grandview; grandchildren, Chandler Slater, Daniel Garza, Maria Garza, Ryan Garza, Maddie Garza, David van der Lugt and Zachare Coleman; great-grandson, Braylon Slater; and his sister, Raquel Garza.
Ed was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Amelia.
Viewing and vitiation will be held Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, from 4 to 8 p.m., with recitation of the Holy Rosary at 6 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Grandview. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Grandview, with burial to follow at Grandview Cemetery.
Those wishing to sign Ed's on-line memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com
Smith Funeral Home Ltd. and Crematory in Grandview is in charge of arrangements.